July 12, 2012
CONWAY - Freshmen Stefan Jakubov and Hunter Whalen along with junior transfer Ted Nilsson have committed to join the Coastal Carolina men's tennis team for the 2012-13 season, announced head coach Chris Powers.
The trio will help bolster the depth of the team that finished 14-6 overall and tied for second in the Big South regular season, the program's best finish since 1996, with a 5-2 record in 2012.
"We have lost only one player (senior Danny Heidecker) from last year's squad, so adding three quality guys is going to give us the most depth in my tenure as coach," said Powers. "I also believe that the competition for starting spots is going to make us a stronger team than in years past. This is an exciting time for the program as we look to build upon the success of the 2012 season."
Jakubov (Slovokia), who will join the Chanticleers in January 2013, is a rated as a three-star (of a possible five) recruit by TennisRecruiting.net. Jakubov has spent the last two-plus years training at the well-known Weil Tennis Academy in California. Additionally, he has played internationally in several ITF sanctioned tournaments.
"Stefan will join the team at 17 years of age, so he is going to have to mature his game over his first couple years at Coastal Carolina," said Powers. "He is a good player now, but I believe his game will develop as he works his way into the college system. He is a stout athlete and I look for him to use his size to pay dividends in the college game."
Whalen (Kansas City, Mo.) has spent the past the past four years honing his game at Saddlebrook Academy in Florida. A four-star recruit as rated by TennisRecruiting.net, Whalen was ranked in the top 135 nationally during the 2011-12 season. He was the Heart of America Designated Champion in 2008 and won the Tulsa Futures Championships in both 2009 and 2011.
"Hunter is everything you want in a player for your program. He works extremely hard and he has a vision for his future in college tennis," said Powers. "I think his attitude will bring character to our team and I believe he has an exceptionally bright future at Coastal Carolina."
Nilsson (Bunkeflostrand, Sweden) will enter the 2012-13 season as a junior after spending two seasons at Louisiana Lafayette, which ranked as high as No. 47 in the national team rankings in 2012. Nilsson finished the spring 2012 season with a 13-5 record in singles action playing from flights three through five. Nilsson spent time ranked as high as 545 in the ITF junior rankings. Prior to his time at Louisiana Lafayette, he was ranked as the No. 3 junior in his native Sweden where he reached three national doubles finals and one semifinal in singles. In addition, Nilsson twice advanced to the semifinals at the Bastad Junior Open.
"Ted has demonstrated that he can play a high level of college tennis," said Powers. "He has won big matches throughout his career on a very good Louisiana Lafayette team. I look for him to have an immediate impact on our program in both singles and doubles play."